All Press Releases for November 15, 2017

Maria De Luca, PhD, Recognized by Marquis Who's Who for Excellence in Nutrition Science

Dr. De Luca teaches as a tenured associate professor in the department of nutrition sciences with the University of Alabama at Birmingham

She is known in the U.S. and Italy for her well-cited article on the genes that govern life spans in the common fruit fly.

    BIRMINGHAM, AL, November 15, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Maria De Luca, PhD, has been included in Marquis Who's Who. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

With great determination, resilience, and passion for science, Dr. De Luca has found success in the biological sciences, particularly nutrition and genetics. She is known in the U.S. and Italy for her well-cited article on the genes that govern life spans in the common fruit fly, and has contributed to other studies on obesity, gene-nutrient interactions, and the relationships of genes to various human diseases. Dr. De Luca is an Italian by birth, and has been valued for her expertise in the U.S. since 2006.

Born in Cosenza, Italy, Dr. De Luca's high school chemistry teacher cemented her love for science, and led her to earn a degree in biological sciences with honors from the University of Calabria, Arcavacata di Rende, in Cosenza. She went on to earn a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology there with Giovanna de Benedictis, PhD, in 1997. In her postdoctoral research, Dr. De Luca entered a fellowship with the Italian National Center on Aging, and returned to the University of Calabria to work with her mentor Dr. de Benedictis.

Dr. De Luca taught in Italy at the University of Calabria briefly as an instructor of human genetics before completing her postdoctoral training with the department of statistics and genetics at the North Carolina State University (NCSU) at Raleigh. During her academic training, she notably received an EU Mobility Program research fellowship with the Tissue Antigen Laboratory at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, U.K. She has also traveled to the University of Barcelona in Spain, and is a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society.

Dr. De Luca performed research and taught with the NCSU until 2003, when she joined the environmental health sciences department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She joined the department of nutrition sciences in 2005, earning a number of research grants along the way. Since authoring her well-cited longevity study, Dr. De Luca has received two grants from the National Institutes of Health, funded four intramural pilot grants, and authored two more articles that have caught international attention.

In 2014, Dr. De Luca gave a speech on the link between obesity and cancer risk at the 19th World Congress on Advances in Oncology, as well as the 17th International Symposium on Molecular Medicine in Athens, Greece. More recently, her work with fruit flies has uncovered a relationship between the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor therapy, mitochondrial bioenergetics, and aging. Dr. De Luca is a member of the Genetics Society of America, The Obesity Society, and the American Aging Association.

Dr. De Luca has also contributed to her students as a beloved mentor. In her personal life, she is married to fellow biologist Kennedy Wekesa, who serves as dean and professor of biology with the college of science, mathematics, and technology at Alabama State University. They have a daughter, Giulia Wekesa. In her free time, Dr. De Luca enjoys reading Latin American authors, watching historical drama movies, and hiking.

About Marquis Who's Who :
Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America , Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at

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